Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Taxpayers Paying for Viagra?

This article by John Stossel is interesting from the perspective of his attacking the very premise of government sponsored insurance.

Once some faceless stranger is paying for what you do, you don't have an incentive to control costs. On the contrary, you have an incentive to get as much as you can and leave the other person with the bill. Doctors also have an incentive to run up the bills. Patients rarely complain, but they might complain if the doctor skips a test. Insurance companies know this, of course; hence the torturous bureaucracy: the paperwork, the phone calls where you beg them to pay, the times they refuse to pay for what you thought was covered...

If you had to pay for your own medical care out of your pocket, you might choose to forgo some expensive treatments in order to have money for a nicer home or for better education for your children. But when the government taxes you to pay for what other people "need," you don't get that choice. You are forced to buy Viagra for some man you've never met.

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Sunday, June 12, 2005

Steyn On China

Sorry folks....I have been incredibly busy over the past few weeks. There is no better way to re-enter the blog zone than with an excellent article by Mr. Steyn on China. Money quote,

China is (to borrow the formulation they used when they swallowed Hong Kong) "One Country, Two Systems". On the one hand, there's the China the world gushes over - the economic powerhouse that makes just about everything in your house. On the other, there's the largely unreconstructed official China - a regime that, while no longer as zealously ideological as it once was, nevertheless clings to the old techniques beloved of paranoid totalitarianism: lie and bluster in public, arrest and torture in private.

If you're a resource-poor nation (as China is), long-term prosperity comes from liberating the creative energies of your people - and Beijing still has no interest in that.

Read it all.

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Thursday, May 26, 2005

European Idiocy

This post at the Belgravia Dispatch is a must read. For those on the Left who wring their hands over the lost of US prestige with our allies, do you agree with the following:

Wolfgang Ischinger, the German Ambassador to the United States, who attended the conference in Munich and listened with interest to McCain's speech, tried to explain the view from the other side. "As older societies, we tend to think of ourselves as more experienced in the way societies evolve, and we tend to be skeptical of Americans who seem to think that if you believe hard enough, and you muster enough resources, you can change the world...In the last year or so, as we've engaged in discussions about the transformation of the Middle East and democracy, I have told my American friends that the region in this world that has seen the most transformation and change is Central and Eastern Europe--without shedding a drop of blood. So don't preach to us. And don't think transformative change will work according to mechanistic rules. This is very complicated. Changing the way people think often has to do with religious and cultural issues--we tend to think of them as long-term, and Americans think, Let's solve the problem in the next four years!"

I guess they think appeasment and getting rich from trading with tyrants represents the more experienced and long-term approach to ending genocide, transforming the Middle East, and changing the way people think. Of course, they do have some experience in genocide. You would think that they would understand better than anyone that appeasement can be fatal. The most ridiculous comment is on Eastern and Central Europe. Who do they think paid the price for that result? Talk to the families of those lost during WWII and the Cold War. Talk to the American taxpayer that continues to fund their defense today.

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Monday, May 23, 2005

Economic Decline? Think Again

An insightful article from Robert Samuelson on the old habit of predicting US economic decline. The ending is on the money:

On being overtaken, history teaches another lesson. America's economic strengths lie in qualities that are hard to distill into simple statistics or trends. We've maintained beliefs and practices that compensate for our weaknesses, including: ambitiousness; openness to change (even unpleasant change); competition; hard work, and a willingness to take and reward risks. If we lose this magic combination, it won't be China's fault.

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Saturday, May 21, 2005

From One Brit to Another

Another excellent article by Christopher Hitchens on Saddam's British lackey, George Galloway. I found it incredibly enlightening. Hitchens is one of the British left's more respected columnists. He happens to be a supporter of the efforts in Iraq, infuriating many of his admirers. There is much to learn in this article as Hitchens has had numerous encounters with Galloway. However, I like his insightful comments on the left's bad faith and cynicism with respect to the war:

The bad faith of a majority of the left is instanced by four things (apart, that is, from mass demonstrations in favor of prolonging the life of a fascist government). First, the antiwar forces never asked the Iraqi left what it wanted, because they would have heard very clearly that their comrades wanted the overthrow of Saddam. (President Jalal Talabani's party, for example, is a member in good standing of the Socialist International.) This is a betrayal of what used to be called internationalism. Second, the left decided to scab and blackleg on the Kurds, whose struggle is the oldest cause of the left in the Middle East. Third, many leftists and liberals stressed the cost of the Iraq intervention as against the cost of domestic expenditure, when if they had been looking for zero-sum comparisons they might have been expected to cite waste in certain military programs, or perhaps the cost of the "war on drugs." This, then, was mere cynicism. Fourth, and as mentioned, their humanitarian talk about the sanctions turned out to be the most inexpensive hypocrisy.

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Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Three Weddings and a Funeral

A great post by the Belmont Club on the recent events in Canada, the George Galloway testimony, Newsweek, and Uzbekistan.

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Monday, May 16, 2005

"Newsweek Lied, People Died!"

The Newsweek "incident" brings forth one truism my Dad taught me. Intelligent people are clearly not always wise people. I always marvel at the stupidity of the so-called intelligentsia of the MSM, college campuses, etc. Listen to Noam Chomsky for one minute and you get the picture. This is another prime example of the thesis of Daniel Flynn's book, Intellectual Morons: How Ideology Makes Smart People Fall for Stupid Ideas. Flynn discusses how fealty to ideology and the "cause" has blinded people to reality - so much so that they espouse ridiculous and sometimes dangerous positions. The ideology here is raw Bush hatred. The cause in this case has always been the creation of a Nixonian moment for the Bush Administration. Whether it's Dan Rather, the so-called missing weapons in Iraq (Al-Qaaqa), yellowcake in Nigeria, Richard Clarke (does anyone remember him anymore?), no WMD, pressuring the CIA, or Abu-Ghraib, among others, the left in the media have been loyal to the "cause." I have always believed that more people have lost their lives in the WOT as a result of the "cause" than otherwise would have. Time and again over the past few years, the media has given our enemies all the propaganda points they needed to foment hatred of the US and the West in general. This propaganda has cost additional lives and, in many cases, extended conflict as opposed to ending it. The difference here is that we finally can directly point to lives lost needlessly over agenda-driven, inaccurate reporting.

Finally, if the real goal of these so-called intelligent people is to end this war and thus save lives through changing public opinion, they are failing miserably. How can intelligent people make such awful and unwise decisions, such as inaccurately reporting an incident that will inflame the whole Muslim world? Fealty to the ideology of anti-Bushism, resulting in the blind dedication to the cause of discrediting and/or bringing down the Bush Administration.

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